With temperatures dropping, and daylight hours getting shorter for the current season, it’s important to find fun ways to stay active. Maintaining an active lifestyle no matter the season is really helpful for health, and makes it easy to keep a bright sunny outlook, even when the sun sets at 5 pm.
Fun in the Cold Outside
If you’re outdoorsy there’s lots of fun to be had outside, even in the cooler weather. Many active-wear companies make layering pieces for people who still want to exercise outside. Wicking fabrics help to keep the sweat off of you while still keeping in your body heat. A few light layers in technical fabrics work best. As long as there’s no snow or ice you can work out in almost any temperature outdoors with the right clothing. If you have a routine that works for you, stick with it.
If not, try going for a walk in the crisp air and enjoy the sights. Even a nice leisurely stroll during your lunch hour can be a fun way to get some fresh air, and enjoy the outside for a bit before sundown.
Fun in the Snow
Once the snow has fallen there’s so much fun to be had. Stomp around in the snow (as long as you’re wearing snow boots, or course), build a snow man, go sledding, or have a snowball fight with friends and family. All of the fun in the snow will burn calories as well as keep you moving during the winter months. Shoveling snow is also a calorie-burner, but not nearly as much fun.
Getting Creative with Snow Chores
If you have to shovel your driveway or sidewalk make it into a race. Grab someone to help you, and see who can get their area done faster. If you’re on your own start a timer, and see how much time it takes, then try to beat it the next time. Many athletes keep things interesting by tracking their workouts, and trying to improve their stats each time. You can apply the same concept to even the most mundane activity to give it a little extra zing.
Don’t Like the Cold? Stay Inside and Move It
For some of us the cold weather can be a big deterrent to exercising, and we need to find ways to stay inside so we can stay active. In that case there’s always neighborhood places to walk. Some shopping malls have early hours where they’re open specifically for mall walkers. Even though it’s inside, the space is usually large enough to get a good long walk in, and the window displays in the stores make for more interesting scenery than your every day gym.
Stroll in the Mall
Look for malls that have skylights or atria to enjoy the natural light without the cold air. It’s even a good activity to bring a friend along with you. If you’re on your own add music to spice things up. Different playlists with high energy tunes can help keep your workouts fun and peppy. Since you are listening on headphones you can indulge in all the guilty pleasure songs you like to listen to without anyone else passing judgment. If you like to leave it up to someone else the music apps can give you different stations to listen to based your tastes, and help choose new artists for you to discover too!
Another indoor activity that doesn’t require a gym membership is free yoga. Many active-wear stores offer yoga classes inside once a week to anyone who wants to join. While they usually do this for marketing purposes, it can be a really fun way to meet new people, stay active, and keep out of the cold. Many community centers will also host free exercise and yoga classes as part of their offerings, so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to participate in some of these options.
Even Simple Exercises Will Do
If you want to stay inside so much that working out in your home is the only way to go then there are still options available. Beginners can start with simple exercises that can be done easily without specialized equipment in the comfort of their own living rooms. Basic lunges, crunches, jumping jacks, squats, and push ups can be combined to create a full body workout. Add a plank or two to increase core strength as well. Even picking one exercise and doing it for the length of each commercial break during your favorite TV show can burn calories, and get your heart pumping with minimal effort. If you want to spice things up a bit a balance board and some tension bands can turn your home workout into a full strength training experience without a ton of extra effort.
Find Your Way to Stay Active
With a little ingenuity every one can find fun and exciting ways to stay active during the cooler months. Staying active now will keep endorphins high through the winter, and keep you in shape for the inevitable shift back to spring and summer. The same way we need to change our wardrobes to fit the weather, we may need to shift the kinds of workouts we do to work with the climate.
Even in the Cold
Even in the coldest temperatures there’s still lots of options to get your body moving, and keep your blood pumping. When daylight hours shorten it becomes a challenge to keep your energy up through the day, and working out can really help keep that pep in your step. Don’t be afraid to try a combination of things, and feel out what works best for you. Sometimes the best option is a variety of things that you enjoy, rather than sticking to just one thing. Feel free to explore, and discover new ways to get moving. Who knows, you may even find some things you want to stick with once the weather turns warm again!